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Sorsogon province still free of COVID-19, governor says

Sorsogon province  in  the Bicol region was still free of the coronavirus disease as of Friday, Governor Francis Escudero said.

In an interview on Dobol B sa News TV, Escudero said the province's number of persons under monitoring (PUM) has gone down from 18,000 to 600, and the number of its persons under investigation (PUI) has decreased from around 400 to 10.

"Unang linggo pa lamang po ng ECQ (enhanced community quarantine), nagpatupad po kami ng sarili naming algorithm ng triage, ibig sabihin, sino lang ba 'yung dapat dalhin sa ospital, sino 'yung sa quarantine facility, sino yung isolation facility, upang sa gayon ay hindi maging mabigat para sa aming healthworkers," the former senator said.

Sorsogon, Catanduanes, Camarines Norte, and Masbate are the three provinces in the Bicol region where health authorities have not reported any positive COVID-19 case. The region had 19 confirmed cases coming from Albay and Camarines Sur as of Thursday, according to the Department of Health.

In the radio interview, Escudero said the provincial government has given one ECQ pass to one in 50 residents, which means only two percent of the province's population will be out of their homes at any given time.

"Maayos naman po at tapat na sumusunod ang aming mga kababayan kaugnay sa ECQ," he said.

People who deliver goods to and from Sorsogon are placed in "complete isolation" upon their return or are made to undergo a 14-day quarantine in the province's own facility before they could go back home, the governor said.

PUMs and PUIs who arrive in the province also need to undergo a 14-day quarantine in their facility, he said.

Escudero also said seven municipalities and cities in the province have started implementing the social amelioration program, in which residents will get an emergency subsidy of P5,000.

He added that sweeper teams have brought back to their home province more than a thousand Sorsoganons. But they have only reached Laguna and have been unable to pick up those living in Metro Manila due to the lockdown, he said.

He advised Sorsoganons to contact the provincial government for assistance. —Nicole-Anne C. Lagrimas/LBG, GMA News